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✝️ CAPSULE – Sep 22, 2023: Friday
SEPTEMBER 22, 2023

“Growing in the Love of the Lord with deeper piety, profound conviction and committed service to one another!”

(Based on 1 Tim 6:2c-12 and Lk 8:1-3 – Friday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)

A story is said of an elderly priest who was known for his deep piety, committed service and profound conviction in preaching.

His old age had rendered him nearly blind and he even found it quite hard to breathe normally…
… and in fact, struggled to speak even in whispers!
>> However, despite his old age, he loved to visit prayer meetings to speak about the love of Christ.

He would take the help of the catechist to get his message delivered to the people

Once, while preaching, he repeated the sentence:
“Jesus Christ is precious and He loves you very much!”
>> The catechist, thinking that the priest had made a mistake… reminded and whispered to him, “Father, you have already said that statement twice!”

The priest, turning to the catechist said in a strong tone, “Yes, I know I have said it twice, and I will say it once again!”
>> And so saying, with a firm and convinced voice, he told the people, “Jesus Christ is precious and He loves you very much!”

The priest re-iterated – with conviction – to the people of the Love of God, and How Precious He is!

Have we discovered and tasted the deep Love of God in our lives?
>> Do we treasure our Blessed Lord as Precious and follow Him with conviction and courage?

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful narrative of a group of people – women, in particular – who experience the Love of the Lord, and considered Him as precious and worthy to be followed!

This passage is a strong narration by St Luke who presents Jesus, the true liberator, breaking some new ground in granting a new status to the discriminated and oppressed class of women.
“Accompanying Him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities…..and many others who provided them out of their resources” (Lk 8:1)

Women who had been healed and had experienced the Goodness of the Lord, accompany Him in His mission…
… and supported Him with their resources.

We can take a couple of lessons from these few, yet significant words from the Gospel of St Luke:

1. Broken to Blossom
Jesus broke some societal traditions to help people to blossom people and experience genuine freedom and liberty.

Women were generally kept out of public life…
>> They were forbidden from reading the Sacred Scriptures.
>> They were mainly reduced to mere onlookers, and not participants in the Sabbath worship.
>> They had a specially designated outer court at the synagogue, which was located beneath the court for men.

But Jesus loved to break open…
… to let free, and to allow people to blossom!
>> Jesus permitted Mary of Bethany to sit at His feet (Lk 10: 39)
>> Jesus touched a little girl who was dead and restored her to life (Lk
>> Jesus allowed Himself to be touched by a woman in hemorrhage (Lk 8:44)
>> Jesus engaged in a life-transforming conversation with the woman at the well (Jn 4:7-26)
>> Jesus let the sinful woman to wash his feet, and shower his feet with kisses of love (Lk 7: 38)
>> Jesus had strong words for the practice of divorce which had reduced women to mere objects (Mt 19:3-9)

The Lord showed Himself as being Precious and declared that He loved everyone very much – including the rejected and the oppressed!

Do I let unhealthy and inhuman practices or mentalities to govern my life…
… or am I ready to break free and blossom?

Do I give in to societal pressures in following certain norms or thought-patterns…
… even if they are harmful?

Do I fail to be bold and courageous to initiate a change in attitudes…
… to achieve genuine liberation?

2. Transformed to Tread!
The women who were touched by the Lord, had found greater meaning in their life and they accompanied the Lord in His ministry and mission.

They were not people who only sought favours; they rather happily extended gratitude and thankfulness.
>> They were not people who lived for mere material needs; they, in fact, focussed their attention on the higher values of life and of the Kingdom!

These women were willing to respond to the Precious Love of the Lord…
… and prove with acts of service that even they loved the Lord very much!

What is my response to the Lord who has showered my life with many blessings at crucial moments of my life…

Do I tread in His path after having been transformed with His Grace?

Do I get stuck with seeking only material favours and fail to allow them to lead me to a deeper God-experience?

Do I only remain with the prayer of intercession and prayer of asking, but not grow higher to prayer of thanksgiving and prayer of praise?

We live in times when the cry for deeper respect and genuine esteem for women is on a high.
>> You and I can make a great change in our society, by our attitude and our determination, with the Grace of God!

Let us cast away barriers which reduce people to mere objects…
… which yokes people, especially women.

Let us imitate Jesus the liberator to ‘break open to blossom’…
… and also grow in our commitment to ‘tread after having been transformed by Him!’

As St Francis de Sales says, “The Love of God is calm, peaceful, and tranquil, and so the work done for its sake, even in worldly things…
… is gentle, trustful, and quiet!”

Let us never forget that “Jesus Christ is precious and He loves us very much!”
>> Let these words be repeated constantly in our life, with deep piety, profound conviction and committed service to one another!

God Bless! Live Jesus!